The truth is that the number of personal injury lawsuits is not excessive and there is no evidence which shows that they are. If the actual number of personal injury lawsuits is increasing it’s only because the population is increasing.
Besides providing compensation for damage to a person or property caused by the negligence of someone else, lawsuits have several beneficial effects on society. Besides the obvious replacement of violence with civility, the biggest beneficial effect is that it makes life safer.
If it were not for lawsuits, there would be no need to make cars safer. Within a few years, no one will ever be injured in a car again. In fact, Volvo advertises by the year 2020, no one will ever be seriously injured or killed again in a new Volvo car or SUV.
Many states have enacted laws which make it more difficult to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, it’s disgusting how difficult they made it because many times people with real injuries are unable to be compensated.
In New York, many people with lifelong, painful soft tissue injuries, such as a neck or back injury from a car accident find their case dismissed by the court because the court didn’t think the injury was serious enough.
The only people who complain about lawsuits are:
- People who have been sued because of their negligence and believe that the plaintiff wasn’t injured. But in most of our cases, it would not have been possible at the time of the accident to determine whether our client was injured. We have even had many cases where our client had a broken bone and required surgery but didn’t realize he was injured at the time of the accident. Often, even the hospital doesn’t see a broken bone but after pain sets in, it’s diagnosed a day or two later by a doctor.
- People who have not yet sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligence. Those people always change their attitude once they get injured. We have represented several of those people.
John Stossel is one of those people. He did many anti-lawsuit stories on TV but when he was slapped in the face by a professional wrestler, he ran to a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit and apparently got $425,000!
The number of automobile, motorcycle, and pedestrian lawsuits have increased because of distracted drivers talking on the phone or texting. However, these cases are going to disappear rapidly due to collision avoidance systems being installed in cars and becoming very advanced.
Some cars already have very sophisticated collision avoidance systems and I predict that within 20 years there will be almost no motor vehicle accidents.
Think the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit is proof lawsuits are out of control? Read the true facts about the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit.
Are There Any Lawsuits Out Of Control?
We don’t think so but commercial litigation is where the real money is. It was reported that the settlement of the lawsuit between Qualcomm and Apple will net Qualcomm between $4.5 billion and $4.7 billion.
In a study by the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, the median personal injury award nationwide in state court was $24,000 and the median damage award in federal court was $201,000.
This is pennies compared to commercial litigation in which a company sues another company. Often, insurance policies pay for the defense and the award against the company. Insurance may even pay for the plaintiff’s litigation costs.
Where I live, my village filed a lawsuit against a cell phone company to stop them from putting up antennas on an existing cell tower. At a meeting, I objected to the village filing a lawsuit because I believed the cell phone company would prevail and I didn’t want to pay for the litigation from my taxes.
The village responded by saying it wouldn’t matter because they had insurance which would pay for the lawsuit. I pointed out that this type of expensive and prolonged litigation would likely result in a premium increase and cost me money when the village raises my taxes but that did not stop the village from proceeding with the litigation.
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